Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones for Working out in 2023?
Aug 31,2023 | David
The technology for wireless headphones is very mature by 2023. If you use them for simple exercises such as jogging, waterproof with an IP55 rating or higher is suitable.
Working out headphones, compared to ordinary wireless headphones, require more wearing comfort and waterproofing.
As a wireless headphone practitioner, I have previously written a general guide to buy wireless Bluetooth headphones, which was well-received by many users and made me quite happy. Therefore, I wrote a whole set of fitness wireless headphone buying guides suitable for different purposes, different groups of people, and different scenarios - “Your honey is his arsenic”, no wireless headphone can be recommended to everyone, choose the one that is most suitable for you, not the most expensive or the best-selling.
Which wireless Bluetooth headphones for working out is worth recommending?
For wireless headphones aimed at working out, there is no need to worry too much about issues such as latency. Focus on waterproofing, wearing comfort and mid-low frequency.
（1） At entry-level prices, focus on wearing comfort and waterproofing/sweat resistance, which can solve most problems.
（2） At mid-to-high prices, pay attention to sound quality and effects, especially the enhancement of heavy bass.
（3） If you need to maintain real-time perception outdoors, such as during outdoor fitness, we recommend semi-in-ear or bone conduction or air conduction-type headphones.
1. Which structure is most suitable?
① semi-in-ear structure: Airpods
The advantage is that it has the highest wearing comfort, especially in a fitness environment, without a stethoscope effect, and can be worn for a long time.
The disadvantage is that the open headphone structure makes it difficult to achieve the ultimate in mid-low frequency sound, and can only be said to be passable.
② In-ear structure: Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus, Airpods Pro
The advantage is that the in-ear structure can form a closed sound cavity structure, which is easier to produce experienced sound quality compared to semi-open.
Disadvantage: The completely closed-in-ear structure is prone to obvious stethoscope effects, and you can clearly hear your own footsteps when running, especially when chewing food.
Supplement: Some bean-shaped in-ear headphones will be equipped with sports ear wings to increase stability during wearing. Sports with severe shaking - such as skipping rope, can be considered first.
③ Semi-in-ear and in-ear self-switching: 1MORE Comfobuds Pro 2
Light semi/in-ear structure + ear wing protective cover, which is a compromise solution. The in-ear structure ensures sound quality, but the depth of insertion into the ear is not deep, and the stethoscope effect is still acceptable. This headphone has a protective fixation and is not easy to fall off in working out scenarios. It is a relatively good solution.
④ Fully open structure, new form: bone conduction headphones: Wissonly Hi Runner
Advantages: Real-time external environmental sound, and external sound without any blocking, while hearing the sound of headphones, a new listening experience.
Disadvantages: There is no noise reduction effect at all because it needn’t enter the ears.
For those who want comfortable long-term wearing during exercise and daily life, the semi-in-ear structure is the first choice in terms of structure. If you want a closed listening experience during exercise, choose in-ear. If you choose a bean-shaped headphone, consider one with sports ear wings first. If you don’t like the feeling of your ears being closed during working out and are willing to try innovative products, Wissonly Hi Runner working out headphone is a good choice.
2. How to choose the waterproof level of working out headphones?
Regarding the waterproof level, you often see IPXX, such as IP67.
The first digit represents the level of protection against solids, and the second digit represents the level of protection against liquids. There are 7 levels of solid protection, represented by 0-6 respectively; and there are 9 levels of liquid protection, represented by 0-8 respectively. In summary, the highest level is IP68 and the lowest is IP00 (not waterproof). There are theoretically 6*8=48 combinations in specific combinations.
0: No protection
1: Prevents large solids from entering
2: Prevents medium-sized solids from entering
3: Prevents small solids from entering
4: Prevents solids larger than 1mm from entering
5: Prevents harmful dust accumulation
6: Completely prevents dust from entering
0: No protection
1: No effect when water droplets drip into the shell
2: No effect when water droplets drip into the shell when the shell is tilted to 15 degrees
3: No effect when water or rain falls on the shell at a 60-degree angle
4: No harm when liquid is splashed on the shell from any direction
5: No harm when washed with water
6: Can be used in the cabin environment
7: Can withstand short-term immersion in water (1m)
8: Long-term immersion in water under certain pressure.
According to the above standards, sports wireless headphones generally reach IP54 and can be used normally. This simple quantitative standard can be used as a basic reference.
Wearing comfort and waterproofing are essential for working out wireless headphones.
Note that some brands advertise their waterproof level in a flashy manner, but the certification report is only IP44. So don’t look at the fancy waterproof marketing copy of the merchants, just look at the certification level (although the certification level may also be fake, it is already more reliable than the copy). If you want to wear it while swimming, choose at least IP68 or above, and make sure it is securely worn.
3. How to wear working out headphones securely?
The core of secure wearing, ear wing fixation is divided into three types:
One is the ear-hook type, which is directly hung on the entire ear, with the typical representative being PowerBeats Pro.
One is the inner support type ear wing, supported on the auricle, represented by the JBL Endurance Peak series.
The third type is used on the left and right integrated type, fixed behind the skull, represented by Wissonly Hi Runner bone conduction headphones.
[Three representatives of three types of ear wings]
For oily ear users, the ear-hook type will be slightly better, as its support point is supported by the entire ear and it is not easy for the headphones to completely fall off.
For non-oily ear users, both types can be fixed relatively well.
Headphones fixed on the skull are suitable for all groups of people, especially those who do not like their ears to be closed.
4. Should we pay attention to battery life?
Most will be satisfied with more than 4h.
More than 4 hours can almost satisfy more than 90% of non-professional users. As for fitness enthusiasts, directly buying bone conduction headphones is the best choice. (For up to 4 hours, listening to music in a vigorous fitness scene, it is difficult for the ears to adapt. Bone conduction headphones and air conduction are more reasonable solutions.) Most wireless headphones have a battery life of more than 4 hours and are unlikely to have obvious shortcomings. This part is omitted.
5. Should we pay attention to noise reduction?
Active noise reduction is not necessary for working out headphones. If you are exercising outdoors or in other risky venues, it is recommended not to turn on active noise reduction mode.
6. How to maintain sports headphones?
The scenario of using working out headphones is often a high temperature and high humidity environment, and they often fall off, so their service life will not be very long. But if properly maintained, they may last longer. - This is the easiest to overlook.
If you find that the headphones cannot be charged locally, wipe the PIN or charging port with alcohol, and you can probably rescue them for a while.
If you don’t use your headphones for a long time, it is recommended to charge them once a month and not leave them for half a year before charging.
After exercising, it is recommended to clean the headphones and put them in the charging compartment to prevent water vapor accumulation.
In daily wear, try to avoid dropping your headphones. It may seem okay once or twice, but aging will accelerate significantly.
1. Wissonly Hi Runner bone conduction headphones
Bone conduction headphones are not yet popular, so let me introduce to you what bone conduction headphones are.
Bone conduction headphones are different from traditional headphones. They use bone conduction technology to transmit sound to the auditory nerve, rather than entering the ear through the traditional air conduction pathway (ear canal). This technology transmits sound by directly vibrating the skull, sending sound signals to the inner ear, thereby achieving auditory perception. Usually adopts a clip or ear-hook design to ensure stable contact.
One of the advantages of bone conduction headphones is that they do not need to be inserted into the ear, so they can keep the ear canal open and allow users to hear surrounding environmental sounds. This makes bone conduction headphones safer in scenarios such as fitness, driving, and office work, because users can enjoy music or calls while hearing warning sounds or other important sounds around them.
However, bone conduction headphones also have some limitations. Compared with traditional headphones, the sound quality of bone conduction headphones may be slightly reduced because the sound signal is transmitted through bones rather than air conduction. In addition, bone conduction headphones may be interfered with by external noise in noisy environments, affecting auditory effects. Regarding Wissonly Hi Runner bone conduction headphones, I firmly believe that these headphones are worth the money. They would be a great choice for working out headphones
(1) Comfortable and lightweight wearing feeling: The Wissonly team is mainly composed of engineers and designers. The designed headphones have three support points that fit the skull. The three points are the temples, auricles and back of the head, so they are very stable. And the body weighs only 27g, and the body is made of soft skin-friendly low-sensitivity materials, and there is no pressure for long-term wear. And I think the biggest advantage of bone conduction headphones is that they do not directly enter the ear and do not close the ear canal. Wearing them for a long time will not make the ear canal feel stuffy and uncomfortable. And this type of headphone does not pass through the eardrum due to sound transmission and will not cause hearing damage.
(2) Multi-mode and long battery life: Wissonly Hi Runner is equipped with Bluetooth 5.0. This headphone is positioned as a swimming headphone. Even underwater, the effective connection distance of the Bluetooth is up to 15 meters. And the headphones have passed IPX8 waterproof certification and can be used normally at a depth of 20m underwater. Charging uses magnetic suction charging, which is safe and hygienic. The battery capacity is 230mAHh and can play music continuously for 10 hours. Since it is positioned as a swimming headphone and Bluetooth connection is unstable underwater, this headphone also has its own memory and can be used as an MP3 alone. The memory is as high as 32G, enough to hold more than 5000 songs.
(3) Excellent sound quality and reduced sound leakage: Wissonly bone conduction headphones are one of the few headphones that use core bone conduction technology. The Hi Runner model has the best listening experience with clear sound and strong volume. Built-in reverse wave system, fully enclosed body design, reducing 90% of sound leakage.
This bone conduction headphone is worn behind the head and does not directly plug into the ears, so this headphone can be said to have no noise reduction effect and is not suitable for scenarios that require high noise reduction.
Bone conduction headphones have great advantages in terms of safety and applicability for people who need to wear workout headphones for a long time. First of all, this Wissonly headphone is not priced very high, and it performs quite well among headphones at this price point, even better than higher-priced same-type headphones. It is very practical for outdoor fitness scenarios that need to be vigilant. If you are considering buying a pair of fitness bone conduction headphones, don’t hesitate to choose this one, it will definitely not disappoint you.
2. Sony LinkBuds - Fully Open True Wireless Headphones
(1) Innovative fully open structure design: Comfortable experience comparable to semi-in-ear structure, annular hollow structure design, truly perfect 100% transparent environmental sound, truly achieving the ability to hear the sound of headphones while maintaining real-time connection and interaction with the external environment in an open environment.
(2) Impressive wide-area click: Currently, there are only three interaction methods for true wireless headphones in the industry: buttons, touch, and pressure sensing.
(3) Wide-area clicking brings a new interaction idea to the entire industry, which is more convenient and practical. It is not necessary to act directly on the body of the headphones, and the headphones can be operated within the range of the cheeks, greatly reducing the probability of misoperation of the headphones and making it more convenient.
(4) Smart volume and smart switch: This can automatically adjust the volume according to external environmental noise and internal playback volume. Automatically lower the volume in quiet places such as offices and elevators, and automatically increase the volume in noisy places such as outdoor traffic, which is very technological. At the same time, it supports Sony’s consistent smart take-off - automatically pauses music playback when speaking, and automatically starts playback when speaking ends.
(1) Heartbreaking environmentally friendly packaging design. The first feeling when you get it is indescribable. If you don’t mind the packaging, it’s okay. After all, it’s just opened once.
(2) It is different from similar products on the market, so when using it for the first time, especially during wearing, you need to carefully explore and refer to the instructions. Different wearing has a great impact on the comfort experience and listening experience.
(3) The shape of the headphone bean has a small grip area. When you start using it, it may be easy to fall off and you need to get used to it for a while.
This is the true wireless headphone for working out that I am most looking forward to in 2022. It injects a force of innovation into the mediocre true wireless headphones. From appearance design to interaction control mode, even intelligent volume adjustment has taken a big step toward intelligent headphones.
Although I know that the end of true wireless headphones is intelligent headphones, Sony has taken a big step towards intelligent headphones and left similar competitors behind by several positions. This is a completely different experience. There is no oppression of the in-ear type, no wearing feeling of the semi-in-ear type, more like an air headphone.
3. Beat Fit Pro, the first choice for sports noise-canceling headphones under the IOS system
This is a Beats headphone that surprised me.
(1) Excellent sports noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones: One of the few comfortable-to-wear fitness noise-canceling headphones. Generally, working out headphones with ear wings are very large and not easy to carry, but Fit Pro can achieve a balance between comfortable wearing and portability. This is an excellent sports headphone. The waterproof is still IP54, and there is no problem for daily use.
(2) Significant improvement in sound quality experience: Adaptive equalizer, which can adjust different sounds according to the shape of the ear. At the same time, it supports spatial audio and can experience a new sound experience (spatial audio, personally, this is prepared for the VR game era, now you can only be familiar with this technology, don’t expect too much)
(3) It is still the first choice for choosing sports noise-canceling true wireless headphones under the Apple system. With H1 Apple’s self-developed Bluetooth audio chip, it can be freely switched between different Apple devices, supports always-on Hey SIRI wake-up, and also supports audio sharing between Apple devices. It can be called the Air pods sports version.
(1) Although it can also be compatible with other systems, I think that at this price point, the first choice for other systems may not necessarily be Fit Pro because there are flagship Bluetooth headphones available from mobile phone manufacturers, such as Samsung’s Galaxy buds Pro.
(2) For other systems, there is no ecosystem advantage and many system-level functions cannot be connected: such as low latency, seamless switching, pop-up links, etc.
For IOS systems, if you choose working out noise-canceling headphones, this is the first choice.
For other systems, there are still many choices in the same category, which can be used as auxiliary references.
4. JBL FLOW/Flash/ENDURANCE series
The attention to detail of traditional big audio brands is a bit admirable.
In most states of listening to music, people are relatively calm and appreciate the details of the music. But during exercise, due to the acceleration of the heartbeat and changes in the surrounding environment, the perception of music will change greatly.
The most obvious is that the effect of bass can be heard in daily life, but it cannot be heard during exercise; this is not a problem with the headphones, but because people’s perception of different frequency bands of sound will change greatly when they are in a state of exercise.
Just for this sports scene, JBL has adjusted the sound effect and called it JBL Enhanced Sports Sound Effect.
The bass has been strengthened separately, and the treble has been extended at the same time. In this way, even if the attention of the ears changes during exercise, many details can still be directly enjoyed.
Interestingly, this does not require any chips or hardware. When setting the target audio curve, it is set according to this target curve, so such headphones should be a series.
If you exercise for a long time and are particularly concerned about sound quality, you can pay more attention to these types of working out headphones.
For basic waterproof and other performance, at this price point, big brand sports models are all OK and do not need to be overly concerned. If this price point can’t even achieve waterproofing, then it’s not worthy of its craftsmanship.
5. PowerBeats Pro
IOS users and heavy sports enthusiasts are almost the first choice.
You can go and understand other products, but when you finally make a choice, remember to come back and compare PBP. You will find that this one is more suitable.
(1) Exquisite workmanship, relatively light and portable in terms of sports true wireless.
(2) Wearing is very stable. This product was originally designed for professional athletes. When applied to ordinary people’s fitness scenarios, it is considered a dimensionality reduction attack. For people of different body types, anti-slip ear hooks are configured and used with earplugs of different sizes.
(3) Perfect adaptation and compatibility between IOS devices. Its own H1 chip can directly realize boot pop-up links on IOS, and its audio transmission protocol in its ecosystem has extremely low latency. The most important thing is that there is almost no risk of disconnection. The experience effect of heavy bass is very obvious and powerful! It belongs to the kind that will be addictive when you listen to it.
(4) Charge for 5 minutes and use for 1.5 hours. Adopting Fast Fuel flash charging technology, the charging speed is amazing. A full charge can be used for 9 hours, which is relatively exaggerated compared to true wireless headphones. It can be said that it must be in a state of abundant power.
(5) Detects motion and non-motion states. The principle is built-in optical sensors and motion sensors, so recognition is more accurate. Supports waterproofing and sweat resistance.
(1) This price point almost hinders most users. Most users will choose to use IOS phones, but choose peripheral products under the IOS ecosystem. The proportion is not as high as IOS.
(2) For non-IOS users, it is a pity that they cannot experience perfect adaptation and switching at the system level. But sound quality experience and wearing comfort are rare at this price point.
IOS users with budget reach choose this one as their first choice for working out headphones. Non-IOS users should consider comprehensively and consider if they care about wearing comfort and sound quality.
Wireless headphones originally appeared for more convenience during working out, but because they were too convenient, many people bought them even if they didn’t exercise. Most wireless headphones can be used for light exercise as long as their waterproof level passes.
But for those that are not waterproof or have very obvious stethoscope effects, they are not particularly suitable.
In the future, the sportiness of wireless headphones will become clearer and clearer, and even more headphones will be linked with smartwatches: without carrying a mobile phone, directly using watches and headphones to run, reporting heart rate and pace at any time, this is a real wireless fitness headset.
But bone conduction headphones have not yet become popular among ordinary people-mainly because bone conduction headphones cannot reduce noise-but for sports that need to observe external environments without using noise reduction functions are safest-so bone conduction headphones are also suitable for sports.
The wheels of technology are rolling forward, and new products will inevitably have some problems, but the experience and convenience brought by them may not be brought by old products.